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Our island for a day
When I chanced upon this beautiful lone island on airbnb, my heart skipped a beat. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. The photos, the reviews and the fact that they allow dogs made it imperative for me to book a night. I instantly pictured myself on the island reveling in its serenity and my thoughts started to race for the upcoming occasion. I figured that staying in the island would be a good way to commune with nature and get back to basics. A month later, I requested to book Sundang Island in Cavinti, Laguna and was thrilled when my booking was confirmed!
I secretly called it “The Lake House”.
We felt a little giddy the moment we stepped off the boat and so did my dog Bones. The owners too had resident dogs on the island. The dogs were extremely friendly to people but it was a bit dicey since I also had a Yorkie with me who decided he wanted to commit suicide by routinely challenging Big Boy, a Labrador crossed with a giant, for Alpha status. Bones was the size of Big Boy’s head if at that. I would probably request for both the dogs to be tied up next time. Or dress Bones up in bubble wrap.
There is a cottage/study adjacent to the house which would be ideal if you wanted to write your thesis, novel, etc. Also, along the side of the house are glass mirrors to allow you to have a full view of the lake. After lounging around for a bit in the hammocks we realized that we were hungry so we made ourselves a snack. The island is unique in a sense that you have to prepare your own meals as opposed to your regular hotel stay.
Post dinner, we had a bonfire going and stargazing! I’ve never seen so many stars before. I was a bit disappointed that my camera can’t capture the sky that night but it will forever stay in my memory. I’m also glad I had someone with me who knows a lot about constellations and the stories behind them as it proved to be very entertaining.
The house has a lot of board games to choose from which is perfect for bonding with family and friends. It is also an ideal way to pass the time since you will not have electricity from 12 midnight until 6 AM so make sure to take your power-banks and chargers if you plan to stay here. It is imperative that you do not leave it in the car like we did. Good thing Kuya Tony, the caretaker, had extras.
The moment I woke up the next day I had to stop in my tracks because of the stunning view. It was magnificent. Inside and outside the house you are treated to a full view of the lake. The brisk morning air, the stillness of the lake and our friend the carabao made it one helluva sunrise. Absolutely breathtaking.
I consider myself a huge beach enthusiast but this experience is giving my predilections a serious run for its money. I was treated to one of the best sunsets I have seen so far and, beautiful as it may look like in the picture, the actual experience is even more breathtaking.
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This little piece of paradise is located in Cavinti, a third class municipality in the province of Laguna. There are man-made lakes in Cavinti, one of them is Lumot, which is connected to Caliraya Lake via an underground penstock. Lumot, as the name implies has water the color of moss. And in this lake you can find Sundang Island. I found Sundang on Airbnb. Booking the island can be a bit of a challenge as it is always reserved even on weekdays. To ensure that the island is mine on my birthday, I booked it two months in advance; the rate is PHP2,911 per night. Whether you go there with a car or by commute, travel time will take about 3 to 4 hours.
It is everything that I imagined it to be, picturesque, rustic, and peaceful. The ground is covered either by crimson soil or by grass and there are many trees and plants. Check-in time is 1PM and check-out time is 11AM. They are not too strict about it provided there are no other scheduled guests on the day of your arrival or the day of your departure. The house itself is big enough to accommodate 10 or more people. It’s about 80-square meters, only one bedroom with a queen-size bed and an extra bed. The bed has a canopy, which proved to be useful because at nighttime, the insects suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Need more sleeping space, there’s one in the attic, which is also equipped with an electric fan, sleeping mats, and some pillows. Now if for some reason you brought so many people that the bedroom and the attic cannot accommodate you all then you may lay out the extra sleeping mats and pillows in the living room.
There are two bathrooms and a kitchen complete with cooking utensils. There is a gas stove and if you want to barbecue there is a grilling area outside, just beyond the house of the caretaker. Now if you want to pen your future bestselling novel, there is study room just across the house. It has a table with an office chair, a reclining couch across the room, and glass walls that offer a lovely view outside. This study room is special to me because that’s where my friends and I hang out in the night for some card games and drinks.
The place is clearly made with the word “leisure” in mind. There are books that you are free to read, there are playing cards and board games that you can play, and there are hammocks where you can nap and spend the lazy afternoon with. And may I remind you the island is surrounded by a lake where you can go for a quick swim.
t takes a boat to go to and fro the island so it’s best to bring all the supplies that you need prior to going there. You can ask Tony to fetch some things for you in the town, but you have to pay an extra PHP80 for the gas of the boat.
Among the things that you should consider bringing are the following: Food, Drinking water, Ice (the place has no refrigerator, but there’s a cooler), Insect repellant, Powerbank, Toiletries,Charcoal.
The island works on a generator and it’s only on from 6PM to 12AM. If you want to extend the time of its use, you have to pay an additional PHP100 per hour. So make sure to charge your gadgets when the power is on, including their chargeable lanterns with electric fan.
Sundang Island gave me an opportunity to live the dream that most of us have, to be on an island we can call our own. Never mind that it was only for a day because really how many of us can say, “I rented an island on my birthday.”
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